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I'm considering an attempt to gain admittance to an MSE program in Software Engineering but I realize that most of my education may not be fully relevant. My BS is in CIS where the focus was real world application and lots of management type stuff, so there wasn't much math and I know that is going to be be a problem. I was looking at ASU's MSE program which implied that the only pre-requisite was Calc I. However, when I was looking through the pre-reqs for each individual class, there were things like Intro to Embedded systems and such; subjects that were obviously not included in CIS. I currently work as a Software Engineer, but our focus is pretty level in that it's typical information systems type stuff (just moving data in and out of databases). I have a true passion for it, I'm not terrible at math, and I really do want to get deeper into the matrix so to speak, so motivation won't necessarily be a huge issue.

So, I'm wondering if anyone had any experience with this or could give me some info on what to expect or what I'm going to need to do in order to make this happen. For instance, am I going to end up getting a second BS (in CS) before I can make the transition or should I still be able to make the switch outright? I haven't contacted ASU yet because in my experience, they push you to apply without actually providing guidance first.

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    Simultaneous posting on multiple SE sites is strongly discouraged. Also: This question seems very specific to your personal experience and goals. Have you tried calling up ASU and asking them? – JeffE Aug 7 '13 at 22:58
  • My only goal is getting into the program. An other SE sites are continuously referring you other SE sites. – Sinaesthetic Aug 7 '13 at 23:39
  • Referrals are one thing; multiple postings are another. – aeismail Sep 17 '13 at 4:38
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Most MSE programs in the US do not require you to have a BSE in the relevant field. The listed prerequisites for the courses are often requirements that undergraduates need to fulfil before being allowed to enrol in the graduate class. That said, you may need to take some undergraduate classes to get up to speed and you may need to work harder to make up for starting slightly behind. If accepted, it is likely that the admissions committee thinks that your previous background is enough to be able to succeed in the program.

In summary, admissions committees do not accept students that they think will be unable to complete the program.

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